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Published: April 16th 2007
conference on free media
i went to this conference in oaxaca that Gustavo Esteva organized about the role of media in the APPO uprising and the need for free media. In the center is Carmen Aristeyi, a mexican newscaster on CNN espanol and a radio program. She was haled for her truthful reports during the Oaxaca conflict.
We have been traveling around the state of Oaxaca for the last 3 weeks. We were in Oaxaca city for the first week, then we went into the mountains to stay in a village called Conulalpam. After that we came back to the city for a couple days before taking off for the coast of Oaxaca, to a beach town called Mazunte.
At this moment I am back in San Cristobal, in Tierra Adentro in fact (where the zapatista encuentro was). I arrived today by bus and unpacked my things in my old host family's house.
Now begins the Independent Study Project - a one-month period where each student studies a specific topic/organization related to Grassroots Development and Social change. We'll be doing interviews, observation, and reading - but the main idea is to learn through experience. We'll write a 25 page paper and do a final presentation at the end of the period (May 18).
I have been particularly interested in microcredit (that is small loans given to individuals to start a small productive activity, following the Grameen Bank model). I want to find out for myself if it really changes these peoples' lives for the
women in Oaxaca uprising
this woman met with us in our Director's home for dinner and stories of her role in the APPO movement. She is a elementary school teacher that joined with many other women to barricade the streets and to take over a local tv station. the women still meet every tuesday, trying to visit the outlying villages to spread word of the violence that occurred at the hands of the police, and in efforts to bail out the political prisoners. One prisoner is a teenage girl, accused of attacking 5 policemen at once. She is in need of emergency eye surgery or she will lose her sight, after being hit by a policeman during a protest.
better or if they are confronted with more problems than they started with. More specifically I want to explore how their quality of life is affected in termas of economic independence, education, health, and empowerment of women. I contacted a microcredit organization called Alternativa Solidaria here in San Cristobal several weeks ago and met with their director. I contacted them again to see if I could do my ISP with them, but this time they sounded a little hesitant to commit because they already have 8 volunteers from belgium on their hands. I find out tomorrow or the next day about their final decision (after several emails and phonecalls). In the meantime I am going to keep my options open by meeting with two other microcredit organizations. keep your fingers crossed for me!
wheew, all this goes on while issues of housing and course registration at Scripps must also be figured out, as well as a phone interview for a grant application! deep breath.
I'm very excited but very nervous for this new chapter in the semester. This is really when push comes to shove to find out how I can work on my own and on such
this is my host dad (making mole sauce for an event in the next town) in the village we visited called Conulalpam, which is in the mountains of oaxaca. we were there for 3 days, learning about different community organizations, and how the village uses a parallel government to protect and operate communal goods such as land and water.
a short time period. This also means that I will probably be very absorbed in my work for the next few weeks, so lower your expectations in terms of these lovely photo-embelllished blog posts. But I'm sure the encouraging/distracting email or message from you all will help to keep my spirits up!
well, here goes nothing!
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